Parishes

Parishes

In Portugal, the term "Freguesia" means a secondary local administrative unit. The municipalities (councils) are subdivided into parishes. Most often, a parish takes the name of its seat, which is the most important or extensive area. However, a seat can be divided into more than one parish. Usually, each one takes the name of a landmark within its area or the patron saint from the Catholic parish. There are 4260 portuguese parishes, 54 belonging to the Archipelago of Madeira. Nowadays the civil parishes are ruled by the Parish Council (executive body) which is elected by the correspondent parish assembly (legislative body), except the President of the Parish Council. Parish councils are one of the most important and relevant entities forlocals, due to the fact that they are the ones being in direct contact with locals and assisting them when necessary.


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